The mission of BEMA is to build bridges with locals and an international community of cultural producers. Its surrounding streets are composed of small family houses, nearly all of which interact with street life, creating a micro-economy and microcosm of communal activity. Our project recognizes the local producers from family-owned businesses of San Francisquito, bottom-up endeavors and generators of citizens’ power in a resilient city.


Antonio Brena, Locksmith

Antonio has a tiny, narrow locksmith shop in the entrance of his home. He has customers in San Francisquito neighborhood and several who come to him from the city centre. He says perhaps they pay him for the trust as well as for his craft. Trust is a big part of his business: ”You can’t have just anyone make your keys.”

Eduardo Capatillo, Welder

Eduardo is a welder who loves to resolve complex challenges, balancing these with small personal commissions, and often doing extras for free when people cannot afford them. When asked about the future of small-scale economies, he says that young people don’t want to learn skills anymore, and that education is key.

Ismael, Carpenter

Ismael the carpenter works outside in the street in front of his house. He treats the road as his workshop. He makes furniture but also repairs things and likes to experiment and solve problems; he says he can do ”anything that needs doing’’. He believes that his craft has no future as people prefer cheap products over quality nowadays.

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